Cryptocurrency markets are decentralised, which means they are not issued or backed by a central authority such as a government. Instead, they run across a network of computers. However, cryptocurrencies can be bought and sold via exchanges and stored in ‘wallets’. Although considerably young, cryptocurrency market has already gained traction and volume, with more than $3.5 billion per day traded only in BTC.
Cryptocurrency markets move according to supply and demand. However, as they are decentralised, they tend to remain free from many of the economic and political concerns that affect traditional currencies. While there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrencies, the following factors can have a significant impact on their prices:
Supply: the total number of coins and the rate at which they are released, destroyed or lost
Market capitalisation: the value of all the coins in existence and how users perceive this to be developing
Press: the way the cryptocurrency is portrayed in the media and how much coverage it is getting
Integration: the extent to which the cryptocurrency easily integrates into existing infrastructure such as e-commerce payment systems
Key events: major events such as regulatory updates, security breaches and economic setbacks